24 July 2008

Stage Eighteen: Bourg-d'Oisans > Saint-Etienne

Today we leave the French Alps and the village of Bourg-d'Oisans for another intermediate stage, back to the Massif Central. Bourg-d'Oisans, at the base of L'Alpe d'Huez, offers tourists the chance to rent bicycles, ride to the top, and for 1 euro (according to wikipedia) you can receive a certificate of completion. I'm sure by now many of us feel as if we've been knitting up L'Alpe d'Huez!

St. Etienne is a huge bicycle manufacturing town. Notice those yellow vehicles of neutral support following the cyclists in the Tour? They're provided by Mavic, the company based in St. Etienne that manufactures bicycle wheels. Mavic supplies neutral support for major cycling races all over the world.

Team Columbia have again had a chance to shine, as Marcus Burghardt won today's stage, beating Team Quickstep's Carlos Barredo to the line. They attacked early in the race, working together until close to the end, leaving times pretty much the same for all those GC contenders in the pack. With Carlos Sastre of CSC still in the yellow jersey, everyone is now focused on Saturday's time trial (GO CADEL!). Hang in there, knitters -- you're almost to Paris!!

Yellow: Carlos Sastre (CSC)
Green: Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
PolkaDot/KOM: Bernard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
White: Andy Schleck (CSC)
Team: CSC

Lantern Rouge: You know who

Final Intermediate Sprint

We all know the final sprint up the Champs-Elysees is one of the most exciting moments of any green jersey contender's life... in this final sprint, we're giving ALL the jersey categories the chance to experience the thrill of a great finish!
Give us a highlights package of your TDFKAL. What were your goals for the Tour and have you met them? Did you have some major stage wins? Are you going home with the yellow jersey (or other equally wearable item)? Or did you spectacularly crash into a labrador or run off the side of a mountain? Did your equipment break down mid-race, leaving you stranded on the side of the road waiting for the team car? We want the blow-by-blow account using your very best sportscaster voice, Franglais, and/or cycling metaphors! (The use of Phil and Paulisms is optional but looked on favourably!)
Now, we know that many of you are still racing against the clock to finish your projects by the 27th, which is why entries for this sprint will stay open until July 29th! Just enough time for the press photographers to snap your photo as you cross the finish line. The thrill of victory will not go unrewarded. The grand prix of the TDFKAL, awarded on the basis of a popular vote, will be a selection of Real French Tour de France Souvenirs collected for us in France by our very own Tour participant, Heather!!!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post with a link to your entry by midnight, PARIS TIME, on 29th July. Bonne chance!

And on a related note - Don't forget to vote for Intermediate Sprint #2! Polls will remain open for just another 24 hours!!

Team Lampre update: Stacey is working away at the gull lace on the February Lady Sweater...photos at a later date as she is busy drooling over some new hand dyed yarn.

Look at the storm of WIPs Donni has been finishing up, all lovely indeed: The Stash cowl of her own soon-to-be-available design; the Lina mini-cable hat; and the Moebius in her own handspun yarn (Pssst....Donni - those are my colors!).Donna is thiiiiiis close to finishing Tempest - just the seaming remains.Our poor Ann has not had a happy Tour. Turns out the Brea Bag is not her cup of tea, especially using a linen yarn that is not pleasant to work with. In my book if it ain't fun, it ain't worth the knitting!

And still in yellow, Team CSC:

CathyAnn is done one sleeve and working on the other. She still hasn't dealt with the sizing of the peplum issue, but will readdress that when she's done the sleeves.(and it sounds like CathyAnn has a little crush on the Schleck brothers...anyone else??)

And I'm DONE!! My February Lady sweater was completed just as I watched the primetime coverage of the climb up Alpe d'Huez. I will block it tonight and have pics to unveil on the weekend.

Team Liquigas is plunging on ahead as its members complete their projects in good time. Amy's socks are done and looking wonderful.

Nancy has been a busy knitter, and her stole is not only finished, but blocked as well.

Gemma reports that she has finishe the left front and back of her minimalist cardigan and one Spring Forward sock. She has, however, "completed over 150 hours of PhD data entry and nearly finished a chapter draft! Which explains my poor show!" You're doing a good job, Gemma, keep up the good work!

And me, you ask? How are my green monkeys coming along? Um. Well.... They're.... coming? I've been quite distracted by work, other sewing projects, and life in general. I am almost at the toe of sock 1 (which is a slow, sad shame for me) and I promise pictures when this sock is done! Now, I should probably go update my blog. Hmm...

The lowdown on the highlights from Camp Credit Agricole

Pas beaucoup de belement from the flying sheep tonight - we're too busy knitting.

Look at Lyn's mountain of Montparnasse - if she could have back all the knitting she's unravelled she'd be done and dusted by now. Sterling effort Lyn!
Rachel, who has turned out to be the engine room of the team just keeps going with that knitting. Lovely back view of her enviably even ribbing today - my compliments Rachel - I hate doing the ribbing! I don't mind admitting I nearly pitched over my handlebars when I saw Gina's latest progress report - I had no idea it was so BIG until she included herself in the photo - that's acres of crochet! I am truly impressed.
Our team paparazza, Marci has brought us another scoop today. Look - team bus with gilet!!!

And who's that bloke in the yellow?
Helen's Bellini, renamed the Bon Chance has been making v bon progress. Helen is on her favourite bit - the sewing up - we feel your pain Helen but it will be worth it when you wear it for the final sprint.As for me, I've now broken through the 100 row mark on Le Germolene so every extra row's a bonus! Happy days!


Rose Red said...

Thought I'd share this with you all - on my blog yesterday, Jennifer (from A Little Bit Crafty) has decided that "the verb 'to Wim' is also in order. Anyone not concentrating when you declare you are Wimming, deserves all the misconceptions they get.
And it could also have a secondary meaning, to be consistent. Takes effort to be the Lanterne Rouge and not get disqualified on time." I wholeheartedly agree!

Katie said...

In that case I'm definitely wimming! I have nearly done one leg in an entire tour, I know I started a week late, but I really had hoped for better progress! Particularly after seeing that massive throw/blanket. I'm in awe!

Furry with Ruffles said...

For the latest update in today's finish and the Green Jersey holder's reaction, please go to
Followup reports on a rift between team members Thor and Helene will be reported in tomorrow's editorial as our reporter gets a scoop "straight from the horse's mouth!"

riggwelter said...

final intermediate sprint

whitknits said...

Here's my final sprint post:


Caffeine Faerie said...

Final sprint posts 1&2 (the second has the photo finish and the sportscast)


Furry with Ruffles said...

The followup report published last Friday before the exciting final intermediate sprint is now @

Rose Red said...

PS - my final tour report:


mari said...

What a great Tour this year. I had a great time participating in the KAL , too.

Here is my entry post for the final intermediate sprint.

Devorah said...

I think I may wind up being the Lantern Rouge. See my final sprint at: http://squid-knits.blogspot.com/2008/07/tdf-final-intermediate-sprint.html

T. said...

Have my entry at my blog.

knittingtastic said...

Joie de Vivre to everyone! It has been tres, tres fabulous!

A link to my final stage...

madalyn said...

I've posted my final intermediate sprint here:


Purlrose said...

Thanks for organising the KAL. Here is my Final Sprint entry in a Flickr set viewable through Ravelry, I think!
Put together with limited photos and even more limited knowledge of what I was doing, it is rather short on commentator-speak, but long on learning new things.
My knitting may have been for the Yellow Jersey, but this effort was more for Polks Dot points!!
I hope this link works

DPUTiger said...

ACK! a large chunk of my day was eaten by watching after a puppy with a tummyache. If I missed the deadline, I understand, but I just got my photos taken and the post will be here shortly: